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April 30, 2008

Bentley Jennison launches restructuring practice

RSM Bentley Jennison has launched a new corporate restructuring and insolvency arm in preparation for a downturn in the UK economy. The firm describes the new division as a one-stop shop for all areas of financial and accounting advice. The corporate restructuring and insolvency unit will work closely with the firm’s corporate advisory division.

RSM Bentley Jennison has recruited a team from independent recovery and restructuring firm Begbies Traynor. Operating nationally from London, the division will be led by Phil Smith and Simon Thomas. The firm said Smith has worked for several blue-chip financial institutions, including Barclays Bank and Lloyds TSB, where he developed extensive experience advising companies during periods of economic downturn.

Thomas has undertaken complex business restructuring and turnaround projects covering a wide spectrum of sectors, including chemical, heavy engineering, manufacturing and retail. He is a licensed insolvency practitioner with cross-border insolvency experience. The pair were joint heads of recovery for the Tenon national insolvency practice.

Another senior figure within the team is RSM Bentley Jennison partner Fred Satow. He told IAB the current economic climate and client demand motivated the firm to launch the recovery and insolvency team.

“Aside from the subprime mortgage crisis you have got personal insolvency at an all time high in the UK, tax take going up, bank lending declining and the stock market decline – so it’s quite a good time to be launching the corporate restructuring business in the UK,” he said. “I think it will grow very quickly in the current economy, we are already quite busy and this is week three. There are plans to expand both in London and nationally.”

Satow, who has previously worked as a partner at PKF and Baker Tilly, said the firm had previously outsourced insolvency and restructuring leads. The formation of the new unit, he added, would bring some of this work in-house, as well as help the firm look after clients better and generate restructuring and insolvency business on its own account. Typical clients of the new unit are mid-corporate businesses that turn over up to £50 million ($100 million).

Arvind Hickman

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